Timepiece Enthusiast Studies What Watches Singapore Politicians Wear
Politicians are often under heavy scrutiny for how they act and even what they wear.
On Monday (2 Jan), watch enthusiast Bryan Cheong took to Twitter to share his analysis of the timepieces that have been spotted on Singapore politicians’ wrists.
The thread went viral, garnering over 1.2 million views and 6,702 likes at the time of writing, with many netizens praising the politicians for their down-to-earth choices.
PM Lee wears S$146 Seiko, Pritam Singh has 3 watches
Zeroing in on our most prominent politician, Mr Cheong shared that Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong only ever wears one watch — a white dialled Seiko 5 Automatic SNKK87.
According to Mr Cheong, the “really nice” classic timepiece costs about S$146 (US$109).
Next up was another familiar face for many Singaporeans, Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan.
Apparently, he also fancies himself a Seiko watch, which Mr Cheong identified as the Arctura Kinetic 5M42 OE49.
The only such watch Mr Cheong could find online was a pre-loved one on e-Bay that is no longer functioning. It was listed at the price of S$80 (US$60).
Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin, on the other hand, does not seem to fancy watches. But when he does wear one, it’s usually an Apple Watch, Mr Cheong observed.
But one politician who appears to like his watches is Leader of the Opposition (LO), Pritam Singh.
Mr Singh has been seen sporting at least three watches, one of them being an Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. The Omega website indicates its recommended retail price as S$9,450.
Although Mr Cheong couldn’t quite identify the other smartwatch Mr Singh wears, netizens guess that it might be an Apple Watch Ultra.
It is more rugged than the usual Apple Watch and of course, comes with a higher price tag.
K Shanmugam appears to be watch enthusiast
Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam also has multiple watches.
One of them is the Glashütte Original Senator Perpetual Calendar with a moon phase and digital date. According to the Glashütte website, it’s priced between S$31,200 and S$32,000.
His other watches include a classic white Rolex Cosmograph Daytona valued at S$20,650 and an unidentifiable model.
As for Education Minister Chan Chun Sing, he wears a “cult classic”, the Casio F91W-1.
Last but not least on the list was Minister Indranee Rajah and her Olivia Burton Enchanted Garden quartz watch.
The original price of the watch is S$201.
Under the Twitter thread, Mr Cheong commented that he had trouble identifying President Halimah Yacob’s red-strapped timepiece as well as Minister Josephine Teo’s tank watch.
Netizens praise politicians for being humble
At the time of writing, the Twitter post has already been viewed over 1.2 million times.
Some praised the Singapore politicians for “keeping it simple”.
One netizen said that their watch choices seemed “humble” compared to the luxury options like Richard Mille that prominent figures in other countries wear.
One Malaysian also shared his view on the matter, saying he is “ashamed” that many of their politicians have a “more impressive” collection that does not reflect the lifestyle of a civil servant.
Says politicians have great taste in watches
Speaking to MS News, Mr Cheong said he was inspired to do the post after seeing videos about the watch choices of prominent world leaders.
He shared that many Singapore politicians wear watches that enthusiasts would consider classic watches.
They also wear watches with vastly different price points, from S$15 Casio models to timepieces that cost over S$10,000.
All in all, Mr Cheong, a self-proclaimed watch enthusiast himself, said they all have great taste.
Seeing Mr Shanmugam’s Glashütte, Mr Cheong said the politician must also be a watch enthusiast. This is because the German company is not as well-known as other brands.
Calling it “the most complicated watch” on the list, Mr Cheong was even tempted to get one for himself. However, the more affordable second-hand ones were all snapped up online, presumably after his post went viral.
The Singaporean also gave Mr Chan’s Casio a special shout-out, calling it a true “cult classic”.
“It is the cheapest and most practical watch of all,” he said.
However, Mr Cheong admitted that he struggled to identify women politicians’ watches. That said, watches like Minister Indranee’s are “a very beautiful example of how artistic women’s watch dials are”, he noted.
Have news you must share? Get in touch with us via email at email@example.com.